Category: Media

Performing Grief

As we discuss the relationship between public and private mourning and grief, consider the emotional handling of the Newtown school shooting in 2012, where twenty children were killed at Sandy Hook elementary school. Such a traumatic event destabilizes people, creating a felt deficit in emotional support. When President Obama visited the community, his role was… Read more »

How comics can make the Arab world a better place

Most Arab countries today are governed by more or less authoritarian regimes that nourish a patriarchal social and political order. This order marginalizes young people, and particularly women. There are moments when it is openly challenged. We saw it across the Arab world in 2011 and afterwards. Several art forms contributed to this open conflict,… Read more »

Trump and Threats to Truth, Democracy and Peace

Stein Tønnesson delivered this year’s The Fjord Memorial Lecture  at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer. The lecture discusses Trump’s team of advisors, calls for fighting the increasing use of lies in political campaigning, sees Trump’s election as having weakened democracy worldwide, and perceives a major risk to world peace. Tønnesson ends the lecture… Read more »

On Bullshit and Research

Researchers who write articles or give interviews must be given approval rights over how their material is presented. My year as an academic has been bookended by a couple of awkward encounters between my own research and a new media reality. The year has also provided a rich crop of angry messages from strangers in… Read more »

From the House of Cards to House of Data?

The fourth season of the Netflix series House of Cards was released worldwide on the 4th March. Which is to say, the week-end when many International Relations (IR) researchers are still rushing to finalize their conference paper for the annual convention of the International Studies Association (ISA). And, if you are reading this post, you… Read more »

When Internet Access Becomes a Weapon

Social Media has rightly been celebrated as an empowering tool for ordinary citizens to mobilize against repressive rulers, and make marginalized voices heard. But a crucial question remains unanswered: why should power-hungry states, with de facto control over access to the Internet, impassively concede to defeat?   The simple answer is: they do not. Behind the… Read more »

Refugees are Also Migrants. And All Migrants Matter

The recent debate over word choice has taken turns that undermine humanitarian principles and cloud the view of how migration is unfolding. The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, and others have examined the usage of ‘refugees’ versus ‘migrants’ over the past week. The general impression is that ‘migrants’ are being… Read more »